Imagine this: you’ve done your research, worked hard, and finally found the sweet spot, that intersection between your offer and consumer demand. You’re finally working your way out of the red and into the black. Now what?
It’s not enough that we rest on our laurels; in today’s competitive world, we either innovate or die. We start the research / hard work process over again and find the next best thing.
There was a time when businesses had to pay a pretty penny to focus groups or to clipboard-attired summer students to discover what their customers wanted next. Acquiring customer insight has always been the gold standard of innovation and product evolution.
National focus groups and an R&D team are fine if you have deep pockets. For the rest of us, there’s social media. If you’re already using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog or mailing list to communicate with your target market you are well-positioned to ask a series of questions that would inform your next offering.
When asking questions on social media platforms, respect your readers’ time and mindset. Remember they are likely scanning, hurried or distracted, so design your questions so that they can respond quickly and easily. If you’re probing for a more thoughtful response, consider an online survey.
Here are a few additional tips from Buddy Media:
- If you’re adding preamble or backstory to your question, make sure this text comes before your question, and ask the question last. The more information that comes between your question and their opportunity to answer, the less likely you are to see a response.
- Ask Where, When, Should, and Would to get a higher response rate. Your readers can answer these questions with as few as one word, or click “Like” to vote ‘yes’.
- Don’t ask Why – it likely takes too long for an honest answer, can be seen as intrusive, and cannot be answered with the “Like” button. Definitely reserve this question for your survey.
- How, Who, What, and Did, all had very low engagement rates, so stay away from these unless you include an either/or choice in your question (Who were you cheering for during the EuroCup Final? Spain or Italy?)
Of course if you’re a visionary like Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, you simply blue-sky that new product that catapults us all into a new state-of-the-art, customer insight be damned! “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Are you a Henry Ford or do you ask your customers what they want next? What kind of response are you getting? Let me know in the comments below.If you aren't yet receiving these posts in your Inbox, subscribe here: